⌚ Seren V Harwood Case Study
Texas was Seren V Harwood Case Study to execute Duane Buck on September 15, A Reitzels forlag, Copenhagen. Seren V Harwood Case Study Engineering Journal of Contaminant Hydrology Seren V Harwood Case Study, ISBN true meaning of familypaperback. SPIE, B.
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As plausible as this claim may sound, in actuality the death penalty fails as a deterrent for several reasons. A punishment can be an effective deterrent only if it is consistently and promptly employed. Capital punishment cannot be administered to meet these conditions. The proportion of first-degree murderers who are sentenced to death is small, and of this group, an even smaller proportion of people are executed.
Although death sentences in the mids increased to about per year , this is still only about one percent of all homicides known to the police. Of all those convicted on a charge of criminal homicide, only 3 percent — about 1 in 33 — are eventually sentenced to death. Between , the average number of death sentences per year dropped to , reducing the percentage even more. Mandatory death sentencing is unconstitutional. The possibility of increasing the number of convicted murderers sentenced to death and executed by enacting mandatory death penalty laws was ruled unconstitutional in Woodson v. North Carolina , U. A considerable time between the imposition of the death sentence and the actual execution is unavoidable, given the procedural safeguards required by the courts in capital cases.
Starting with selecting the trial jury, murder trials take far longer when the ultimate penalty is involved. Furthermore, post-conviction appeals in death-penalty cases are far more frequent than in other cases. These factors increase the time and cost of administering criminal justice. We can reduce delay and costs only by abandoning the procedural safeguards and constitutional rights of suspects, defendants, and convicts — with the attendant high risk of convicting the wrong person and executing the innocent.
This is not a realistic prospect: our legal system will never reverse itself to deny defendants the right to counsel, or the right to an appeal. Persons who commit murder and other crimes of personal violence often do not premeditate their crimes. Most capital crimes are committed in the heat of the moment. Most capital crimes are committed during moments of great emotional stress or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, when logical thinking has been suspended. Many capital crimes are committed by the badly emotionally-damaged or mentally ill. In such cases, violence is inflicted by persons unable to appreciate the consequences to themselves as well as to others. Even when crime is planned, the criminal ordinarily concentrates on escaping detection, arrest, and conviction.
The threat of even the severest punishment will not discourage those who expect to escape detection and arrest. It is impossible to imagine how the threat of any punishment could prevent a crime that is not premeditated. Furthermore, the death penalty is a futile threat for political terrorists, like Timothy McVeigh, because they usually act in the name of an ideology that honors its martyrs. Capital punishment doesn't solve our society's crime problem.
Threatening capital punishment leaves the underlying causes of crime unaddressed, and ignores the many political and diplomatic sanctions such as treaties against asylum for international terrorists that could appreciably lower the incidence of terrorism. Capital punishment has been a useless weapon in the so-called "war on drugs. It is irrational to think that the death penalty — a remote threat at best — will avert murders committed in drug turf wars or by street-level dealers. If, however, severe punishment can deter crime, then permanent imprisonment is severe enough to deter any rational person from committing a violent crime.
The vast preponderance of the evidence shows that the death penalty is no more effective than imprisonment in deterring murder and that it may even be an incitement to criminal violence. Death-penalty states as a group do not have lower rates of criminal homicide than non-death-penalty states. Use of the death penalty in a given state may actually increase the subsequent rate of criminal homicide.
Perhaps because "a return to the exercise of the death penalty weakens socially based inhibitions against the use of lethal force to settle disputes…. In adjacent states — one with the death penalty and the other without it — the state that practices the death penalty does not always show a consistently lower rate of criminal homicide. For example, between l and l, the homicide rates in Wisconsin and Iowa non-death-penalty states were half the rates of their neighbor, Illinois — which restored the death penalty in l, and by had sentenced persons to death and carried out two executions. On-duty police officers do not suffer a higher rate of criminal assault and homicide in abolitionist states than they do in death-penalty states.
Between and , for example, lethal assaults against police were not significantly more or less frequent in abolitionist states than in death-penalty states. Capital punishment did not appear to provide officers added protection during that time frame. In fact, the three leading states in law enforcement homicide in were also very active death penalty states : California highest death row population , Texas most executions since , and Florida third highest in executions and death row population.
If anything, the death penalty incited violence rather than curbed it. Prisoners and prison personnel do not suffer a higher rate of criminal assault and homicide from life-term prisoners in abolition states than they do in death-penalty states. Between and , inmates were murdered by other prisoners. Evidently, the threat of the death penalty "does not even exert an incremental deterrent effect over the threat of a lesser punishment in the abolitionist states. Actual experience thus establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the death penalty does not deter murder. No comparable body of evidence contradicts that conclusion.
Furthermore, there are documented cases in which the death penalty actually incited the capital crimes it was supposed to deter. These include instances of the so-called suicide-by-execution syndrome — persons who wanted to die but feared taking their own lives, and committed murder so that the state would kill them. For example, in , Daniel Colwell , who suffered from mental illness, claimed that he killed a randomly-selected couple in a Georgia parking lot so that the state would kill him — he was sentenced to death and ultimately took his own life while on death row. Although inflicting the death penalty guarantees that the condemned person will commit no further crimes, it does not have a demonstrable deterrent effect on other individuals.
Further, it is a high price to pay when studies show that few convicted murderers commit further crimes of violence. Researchers examined the prison and post-release records of prisoners on death row in whose sentences were reduced to incarceration for life by the Supreme Court's ruling in Furman. This research showed that seven had committed another murder. But the same study showed that in four other cases, an innocent man had been sentenced to death. Recidivism among murderers does occasionally happen, but it occurs less frequently than most people believe; the media rarely distinguish between a convicted offender who murders while on parole, and a paroled murderer who murders again.
Government data show that about one in 12 death row prisoners had a prior homicide conviction. But as there is no way to predict reliably which convicted murderers will try to kill again, the only way to prevent all such recidivism is to execute every convicted murderer — a policy no one seriously advocates. Equally effective but far less inhumane is a policy of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Constitutional due process and elementary justice both require that the judicial functions of trial and sentencing be conducted with fundamental fairness, especially where the irreversible sanction of the death penalty is involved.
In murder cases since , 88 percent of all executions have been for this crime , there has been substantial evidence to show that courts have sentenced some persons to prison while putting others to death in a manner that has been arbitrary, racially biased, and unfair. Racial discrimination was one of the grounds on which the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in Furman. Half a century ago, in his classic American Dilemma , Gunnar Myrdal reported that "the South makes the widest application of the death penalty, and Negro criminals come in for much more than their share of the executions.
Our nation's death rows have always held a disproportionately large population of African Americans, relative to their percentage of the total population. Comparing black and white offenders over the past century, the former were often executed for what were considered less-than-capital offenses for whites, such as rape and burglary. Between and , men were executed for rape, of whom — 90 percent — were black. A higher percentage of the blacks who were executed were juveniles; and the rate of execution without having one's conviction reviewed by any higher court was higher for blacks.
In recent years, it has been argued that such flagrant racial discrimination is a thing of the past. However, since the revival of the death penalty in the mids, about half of those on death row at any given time have been black. More striking is the racial comparison of victims. African-Americans are six times as likely as white Americans to die at the hands of a murderer, and roughly seven times as likely to murder someone. Young black men are fifteen times as likely to be murdered as young white men. So given this information, when those under death sentence are examined more closely, it turns out that race is a decisive factor after all.
The classic statistical study of racial discrimination in capital cases in Georgia presented in the McCleskey case showed that "the average odds of receiving a death sentence among all indicted cases were 4. Baldus et al. Kemp and while the Court did not dispute the statistical evidence, it held that evidence of an overall pattern of racial bias was not sufficient. McCleskey would have to prove racial bias in his own case — a virtually impossible task. The Court also held that the evidence failed to show that there was "a constitutionally significant risk of racial bias In , the U. General Accounting Office reported to the Congress the results of its review of empirical studies on racism and the death penalty.
The GAO concluded : "Our synthesis of the 28 studies shows a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing, and imposition of the death penalty after the Furman decision" and that "race of victim influence was found at all stages of the criminal justice system process Texas was prepared to execute Duane Buck on September 15, Buck was condemned to death by a jury that had been told by an expert psychologist that he was more likely to be dangerous because he was African American. The Supreme Court stayed the case, but Mr. Buck has not yet received the new sentencing hearing justice requires. These results cannot be explained away by relevant non-racial factors, such as prior criminal record or type of crime, as these were factored for in the Baldus and GAO studies referred to above.
They lead to a very unsavory conclusion: In the trial courts of this nation, even at the present time, the killing of a white person is treated much more severely than the killing of a black person. Of the white defendants executed, only three had been convicted of murdering people of color. Our criminal justice system essentially reserves the death penalty for murderers regardless of their race who kill white victims. Both gender and socio-economic class also determine who receives a death sentence and who is executed.
Women account for only two percent of all people sentenced to death , even though females commit about 11 percent of all criminal homicides. Many of the women under death sentence were guilty of killing men who had victimized them with years of violent abuse. Since , only 51 women have been executed in the United States 15 of them black. Discrimination against the poor and in our society, racial minorities are disproportionately poor is also well established. It is a prominent factor in the availability of counsel. Fairness in capital cases requires, above all, competent counsel for the defendant.
Yet "approximately 90 percent of those on death row could not afford to hire a lawyer when they were tried. As Justice William O. Douglas noted in Furman , "One searches our chronicles in vain for the execution of any member of the affluent strata in this society" US The demonstrated inequities in the actual administration of capital punishment should tip the balance against it in the judgment of fair-minded and impartial observers. Justice John Marshall Harlan, writing for the Court in Furman , noted "… the history of capital punishment for homicides … reveals continual efforts, uniformly unsuccessful, to identify before the fact those homicides for which the slayer should die….
Those who have come to grips with the hard task of actually attempting to draft means of channeling capital sentencing discretion have confirmed the lesson taught by history…. To identify before the fact those characteristics of criminal homicides and their perpetrators which call for the death penalty, and to express these characteristics in language which can be fairly understood and applied by the sentencing authority, appear to be tasks which are beyond present human ability.
Yet in the Gregg decision, the majority of the Supreme Court abandoned the wisdom of Justice Harlan and ruled as though the new guided-discretion statutes could accomplish the impossible. The truth is that death statutes approved by the Court "do not effectively restrict the discretion of juries by any real standards, and they never will. No society is going to kill everybody who meets certain preset verbal requirements, put on the statute books without awareness of coverage of the infinity of special factors the real world can produce. Evidence obtained by the Capital Jury Project has shown that jurors in capital trials generally do not understand the judge's instructions about the laws that govern the choice between imposing the death penalty and a life sentence.
Even when they do comprehend, jurors often refuse to be guided by the law. The effect [of this relative lack of comprehension of the law]… is to reduce the likelihood that capital defendants will benefit from the safeguards against arbitrariness built into the… law. Even if the jury's sentencing decision were strictly governed by the relevant legal criteria, there remains a vast reservoir of unfettered discretion: the prosecutor's decision to prosecute for a capital or lesser crime, the court's willingness to accept or reject a guilty plea, the jury's decision to convict for second-degree murder or manslaughter rather than capital murder, the determination of the defendant's sanity, and the governor's final clemency decision, among others. Discretion in the criminal justice system is unavoidable.
The history of capital punishment in America clearly demonstrates the social desire to mitigate the harshness of the death penalty by narrowing the scope of its application. Whether or not explicitly authorized by statutes, sentencing discretion has been the main vehicle to this end. But when sentencing discretion is used — as it too often has been — to doom the poor, the friendless, the uneducated, racial minorities, and the despised, it becomes injustice. Mindful of such facts, the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association including 20 out of 24 former presidents of the ABA called for a moratorium on all executions by a vote of to in February The House judged the current system to be "a haphazard maze of unfair practices.
In its survey of the death penalty in the United States, the International Commission of Jurists reinforced this point. Despite the efforts made over the past two decades since Gregg to protect the administration of the death penalty from abuses, the actual "constitutional errors committed in state courts have gravely undermined the legitimacy of the death penalty as a punishment for crime. The ALI, which created the modern legal framework for the death penalty in , indicated that the punishment is so arbitrary, fraught with racial and economic disparities, and unable to assure quality legal representation for indigent capital defendants, that it can never be administered fairly.
Thoughtful citizens, who might possibly support the abstract notion of capital punishment, are obliged to condemn it in actual practice. Unlike any other criminal punishments, the death penalty is irrevocable. Speaking to the French Chamber of Deputies in , years after having witnessed the excesses of the French Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette said, "I shall ask for the abolition of the punishment of death until I have the infallibility of human judgment demonstrated to me.
Since , in this country, there have been on the average more than four cases each year in which an entirely innocent person was convicted of murder. Scores of these individuals were sentenced to death. In many cases, a reprieve or commutation arrived just hours, or even minutes, before the scheduled execution. These erroneous convictions have occurred in virtually every jurisdiction from one end of the nation to the other. Nor have they declined in recent years, despite the new death penalty statutes approved by the Supreme Court. Disturbingly, and increasingly, a large body of evidence from the modern era shows that innocent people are often convicted of crimes — including capital crimes — and that some have been executed.
He was convicted largely based on eyewitness testimony made from the back of a police car in a dimly lit lot near the crime scene. Just choose a legal issue from the list and enter your location postcode, town or city. If you need more help using this website, please look at our online help section , complete our enquiry form or call monday to friday from to charged at local call rates. Organisations and individuals can be awarded a voluntary accreditation quality mark by the Law Society for different areas of law. When viewing quick search results, use the left-hand menu to only show accredited organisations that match your legal issue. Or you can use pro search to search for members of a specific accreditation scheme.
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